The American society is the most advanced and liberal community in the world. It is diverse and constantly exercises liberties that are guaranteed by the constitution. The unique feature about it is the will to embrace change. Nevertheless, all of the praise points come to a grinding halt when the subject of sexual prejudice comes up. The empirical data on sexual prejudice almost makes readers wonder if they if they are still reading about the United States of America (Herek, 2012). This paper integrates four main aspects of results from National surveys to compare how far we have come to embrace different sexual orientations in our community and into our homes.
Statistics on tolerance in the United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed forces are the best equipped and the fourth largest in the world. It is known for a variety of survival skills as well as fighting strategies. Yet, it seems to be losing its war with sexual prejudice. The national survey results of 2013 highlight that over 14,000 highly trained armed force personnel from all three divisions (Army, Navy and Air Force) have been discharged due to their sexual orientation. Although the Joint Chiefs of Staff openly admitted in 2013 in an interview that same-sex soldiers had served in the U.S. Army since the Vietnam War. Interestingly all the discharged personnel were women (Rosenthal and Contreras, 2010).
Statistics on tolerance for Transgender people
In 2011, survey results for a nationwide research concluded that Transgender people were over 40% likely to attempt suicide than anyone else. The stigma of not being considered normal along with the prejudice that runs deep in the society against the transgender population have been cited as primary reasons. There are also other contributing elements such as lack of acceptance among peer groups, lack of understanding at home and the constant threat of sexual or physical violence. For a society that professes freedom of expression and speech, this untoward behavior against the transgender population is an aberration (Moskowitz, 2013).
Statistics on tolerance for young students who are differently oriented
The population that is plagued by issues is probably the young children who realize that they are differently oriented. Over ten percent of all differently oriented people are in the age group of eighteen to twenty. Almost all of them come from families that are either middle class or lower middle class with annual incomes that do not exceed twenty thousand dollars. This population is the most vulnerable since they are under scrutiny by almost all sections of the society. These sections include family, peer groups, teachers, and friends. This group of people are also the most vulnerable to harm themselves or be harmed by others since their maturity levels are yet to attain full capacity. In addition, this group is also either just out of dependence on family for or still residing and depending on parental support (Mooney, Knox, and Schacht, 2014).
Tolerance for same sex couples
The law of the land until recently was divided on the acceptance of same sex marriages. However, even the overall acceptance by the law brings little relief for same sex couples across the United States. Social attitude is built from years of following a belief system that was considered acceptable by the majority of the community. This society had no love or tolerance for same sex marriages. Despite, several sweeping changes in the nation’s policies, the social attitude towards serving a same sex couple in a restaurant or being fair to a same sex partner employed under a heterosexual boss is still farfetched (Morris and Fiske, 2009). This eventually makes survival very difficult for same sex couples. According to the 2012 survey, over twenty percent of same sex couples actually live in poverty.
The numbers look grim with an overwhelming ninety five percent of the population claiming to be heterosexual according to the survey in 2013. Although, the present trends indicate that this is probably the most promising for differently oriented people, we are still a long way from achieving any societal harmony with our present standards. The primary problem for the deep-rooted sexual prejudice within the society is the religion based laws and government setup that is followed by the United States. Despite several positives in this approach towards the law, security and the economy, there are a few chinks in the armor especially pertaining to sexual equality (Angell, 2013). The choice of sexual orientation however, is a personal decision. It is not bound by the law. Hence, chances for any significant changes to the existing situation despite the Supreme Court ruling remain slim.
Angell, Mintaka (2013). Basic Freedoms: Why Chelsea Manning’s Transition Matters. Retrieved from: http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org/2013/09/basic-freedoms-why-chelsea-mannings-transition-matters/
Herek, Gregory M. (2012). Definitions: Homophobia, Heterosexism, and Sexual Prejudice. Retrieved from: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/faculty_sites/rainbow/html/prej_defn.html
Mooney, Linda, Knox, David, and Schacht, Caroline (2014). Understanding Social Problems. Cengage Learning. Stamford: CT. Print. Pp. 345-374.
Morris, Michael and Fiske, Susan (2009). The New Face Of Workplace Discrimination. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/12/discrimination-workplace-prejudice-leadership-managing-bias.html
Moskowitz, Clara (2013). High Suicide Risk, Prejudice Plague Transgender People. Retrieved from: http://www.livescience.com/11208-high-suicide-risk-prejudice-plague-transgender-people.html
Rosenthal, Josh and Contreras, Christopher. (2010). Piling One Prejudice onto Another. Retrieved from: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2010/02/23/7345/piling-one-prejudice-onto-another/